Jim at platform

For release: May 13, 2010

The Federal Government has misplaced priorities in planning to cut funding for Family Relationship Services by more than $40 million in coming years at a time when marriage and the family is under increasing pressure in Australian society, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said that the nation’s 65 Family Relationships Centres have experienced strong demand and play an important role in developing a culture of support for marriage and the family, as well as dealing more effectively with the trauma of family breakdown.

“In the past the Australian Christian Lobby has called on the Government to increase the support available through these centres and it is very disappointing to see them taking the opposite approach,” Mr Wallace said.

“As a nation we need to be developing concerted policy initiatives to strengthen and support marriages and families, with very little having been achieved in this area to date despite the severe costs of family breakdown.

“Family Relationship Centres – with their early intervention and mediation services – have been at least one step forward along this path and their funding should be extended, not cut. We call on the Government to review its plans.”

Mr Wallace said that Western countries are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of policies to support marriage and the family in facilitating a healthy society.

“One of the first things the incoming British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of when coming to office was the need to rebuild families. This need is just as strong in Australia and we also have a long way to go.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.